If You’re Not Doing This on Your Dating App, Start Today
It is exciting to make an online dating profile and find a match.
But anyone who has been online dating for a while can attest that meeting someone online doesn’t always lead to a relationship.
A lot can go awry between that initial online meeting and the journey to a dating relationship.
Some of these potential pitfalls are unavoidable. The nature of online dating means that it just isn’t usually possible to tell for sure that you could be a good fit for each other until you meet in person.
But there’s one thing you can do on your end to improve your chances of finding someone who’s a good partner, and that’s striving for honesty.
If you strive to be fully honest in your profile and in your messages, you’ll be setting yourself apart in a very good way.
Isn’t mostly honest good enough?
Most of us, especially in Catholic dating, aren’t going to be inclined to blatantly lie about ourselves online.
It should be a no-brainer that doing something like claiming to be twenty-five when you’re forty-five won’t end well for you. If you make yourself sound extremely accomplished in some area when you’re not, this is obviously not a recipe for success.
But when it comes to more subtle areas of honesty or dishonesty, the matter might not always be so obvious or clear-cut.
For example, one common temptation can be to use an old picture as a profile picture. This isn’t a lie. After all, it’s still you! Yet, it’s not completely honest. This is especially true if the old picture of you looks significantly different from how you look now.
Maybe we hope that an old, more attractive picture will initially attract someone to us. Then, they’ll get over whatever our more recent physical shortcomings might be once they get to know us.
This could happen. But they’ll realize you haven’t been honest with them once they see you in person. They might start to wonder if you’ve been totally honest in other areas as well.
You may be tempted to exaggerate your good qualities in your online dating bio or in a message conversation with someone. But you’re not going to inspire confidence in your honesty when they realize how you’ve been exaggerating.
What if my real self isn’t that attractive?
The temptation to lie or even just exaggerate a little in online dating often comes from insecurity about ourselves.
We might think, if only we were more attractive or exciting in one area or another, we’d be able to get the attention of a potential date. We might fear that, if we’re totally honest about ourselves, no one will be interested.
The reality is that we all have our faults. Even supermodels have issues that some people don’t find attractive.
But we also all have our high points. Even if you’re not what a lot of people conventionally consider attractive or exciting, there are most certainly aspects to you that are lovable.
If you go into online dating with that attitude that no one will be attracted to your true self, you’re definitely overlooking something. Instead of focusing on your weak points and your insecurities about them, try getting creative in presenting your good points.
Say you’re not thrilled with your physical appearance these days. Instead of using an old picture for your profile, try using a picture that shows you doing something unique, like a hobby that you love.
Or, try for a picture where you look genuinely happy. A great, authentic smile can go a long way in making us attractive to others. Similarly, you can focus on the positives in other areas where you’re not that excited about yourself.
If you’re insecure about what you do for a living, put more emphasis on what types of things you enjoy. If you don’t have any great hobbies to talk about but you love your job, emphasize how cool your job is in your profile.
Whenever you’re tempted to stretch the truth about yourself in online dating, look instead for a way to emphasize your good points.
Honesty is key in Catholic dating
One other factor to take into consideration when you’re facing the temptation to exaggerate a little in online dating is your Catholic faith.
Now, we all know that lying is a sin. Is a small exaggeration a sin? This would most likely would depend on the circumstances and on whether the other person has a possibility of knowing you might be exaggerating.
But being anything other than totally honest is going to be especially unhelpful in Catholic dating because of the end goals that Catholics usually have when dating.
Faithful Catholics aren’t searching for a hookup. They’re not looking for someone they’ll never see again. They’re usually searching for someone to marry and have a life and a family with.
This means that if you do choose to exaggerate or be untruthful to a fellow Catholic you met online, they’re probably not going to be interested in pursuing a relationship with you.
Seeing it from their perspective
If you’re not sure whether what you want to say about yourself is acceptable or not, try to put yourself in the shoes of the other person.
Imagine that you’ve met someone online that you connect with. They share your Faith and the two of you seem like you could be a great fit. You decide to meet up, but you quickly discover that they weren’t honest with you.
How would you feel about them? Would you be likely to jump into a relationship with them and pin your hopes on pursuing a future with them? Or would you suddenly feel the need to proceed with caution?
Try using this as a guide if you’re struggling to decide whether honesty is that important.
Being honest in online dating can be a very difficult thing to do at times. But in the long run, a little extra effort here can make a big difference as you search for that person to spend the rest of your life with.
Adrienne Thorne is a Catholic wife, mother, screenwriter, and blogger, as well as author of the Catholic YA romance novel SYDNEY AND CALVIN HAVE A BABY. She blogs about TV and Movies from Catholic perspective at Thorne in the Flesh: A Faithful Catholic's Guide to Netflix, Hulu, and More.